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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  May 13, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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will make $1 million. happy to do that. >> winning! >> full-time job now. >> "cbs evening news with katie couric" is next. >> couric: tonight, revenge. suicide bombers kill dozens of pakistani police cadets in retaliation for the killing of osama bin laden. and evidence seized from his compound includes pornography. i'm katie couric. also tonight, taming a giant. engineers prepare to open a spillway to prevent the rain swollen mississippi from flooding new orleans and baton rouge. and the squeeze at the supermarket. paying more for less. captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> couric: good evening, everyone. intelligence experts going through the evidence seized from osama bin laden's compound in
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pakistan have found another surprise. in addition to the names of terrorists and outlines of possible future attacks, his computer files contain pornography. meanwhile, there was a deadly act of retaliation in pakistan today for the raid that recovered that evidence and killed bin laden. national security correspondent david martin has details. >> reporter: the first avowed act of revenge for the killing of bin laden. two suicide bombers, one in a vehicle, the second wearing a vest, attacked a pakistani police academy, killing some 80 cadets. it was probably not what bin laden would have wanted, since he urged his followers to attack the u.s., but it surely gave pakistan one more reason to resent last week's mission. >> the killing of bin laden has now put the relations in a very bad spot because the gulf of distrust between the two countries has opened up wide, from top to bottom in both countries. >> reporter: pakistanis still haven't given back the remains of that stealth helicopter used
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on the raid. they did allow the c.i.a. to interview three of bin laden's wives who were living with him at the compound, but only with the pakistani official looking on. as might be expected, the wives were not very friendly. the youngest was at bin laden's side when he was killed. she and the other wives would know how bin laden managed to life in such a conspicuous compound for so long without attracting attention. >> they would know likely who bin laden was communicating with, who may have been visiting over time, how the couriers were operating, with whom they had contact. >> reporter: the c.i.a. will interview the wives again, but may not come away with much. >> the bin laden wives are not likely to give american officials good, clean information in that setting, with pakistani officials likely in the room. >> reporter: the u.s. knows from its own surveillance of the compound and from the electronic files seized by the navy seals, that couriers came and went at irregular intervals, carrying
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bin laden's messages on thumb drives which they would send out from internet cafes elsewhere in pakistan. the captured files also include recent references to targeting the u.s. president, although they do not mention barack obama by name. but it wasn't all about terrorism. as you said, the files also include porn, although it's not clear who watched it. katie? >> couric: david martin, thank you. now to libya for the second time this week, muammar qaddafi went on the air to prove he survived recent attacks there. in an audio recording played on television today, he taunted nato, claiming he's "in a place where you can't get me." earlier, libyan tv showed a bombed out house in the eastern city of brega, apparently struck by coalition war planes. the libyan government claims 11 civilians were killed. nato insists it only targets military installations. meanwhile here at home the mississippi river is rising to record levels. and it's threatening to cause
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even more flooding in the days to come, as the river crests in major cities and small towns. dean reynolds is in vidalia, louisiana. dean, do authorities there think they have come up with a solution? >> they certainly hope so, katie. the governor of louisiana said today they are going to open the flood gates at the spillway at morganza tomorrow, first time they have done that since 1973. and a critical step in fighting this flood. great news for baton rouge and new orleans, opening the flood gates will ease pressure on the levees and theoretically lower the river a foot or more. but for those 25,000 people in the path of what will be a torrent of water, it's time to leave behind three million soon- to-be-flooded acres. >> that means that water is coming, now is the time. now is the time to review your plans. if you're in the northern part of the spillway the water is only a couple days away at most. >> reporter: opening the morganza spillway will also lessen pressure on a critical flood-control system just upriver.
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called the old river control system, it's designed to literally hold the mississippi on course. while the river's basic path has been unchanged for centuries, its natural inclination is to flow into the atchafalaya river basin, and roll 65 miles west of new orleans. the control system allows about 30% of the mississippi into the atchafalaya while forcing the rest along its traditional route. if that structure fails, and the entire river changes course, it could be disastrous. so by that measure, saving the cities while flooding farm land was seen as the best choice. but that's if the spillway operation works. it was last done 38 years ago. a sign that baton rouge is preparing for the worst are these orange tubes-- mile after mile of what are called tiger dams. they're here to raise the levee perhaps two critical feet. heavy industries in baton rouge,
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including exxon mobil's second largest facility in the country, worry that without some relief a rising, roaring mississippi would prove impossible to navigate, and force a suspension of barge traffic. so now we'll wait to see if opening the floodgates is the solution. but in the meantime, the river is rising. katie? >> couric: dean reynolds. dean, thanks a lot. you can expect victims of the flooding to apply for federal assistance, but listen to this. sharyl attkisson reports thousands of people who got federal money after past disasters are now being told they have to give the money back, because f.e.m.a. made a mistake. >> how the basement looked. >> reporter: christine holmquist's illinois home was damaged by severe flooding last year. >> this is how our entire basement looked. >> reporter: she was relieved when f.e.m.a. offered to kick in $5,400 for some documented damage not covered by insurance. >> the floor was completely full of water up to approximately this level. >> reporter: but seven months
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later, holmquist was shocked to open a letter from f.e.m.a. demanding the money back. >> and they wanted it back within 30 days, even though it took them seven months to tell us that they made a mistake. of course that money had already been spent. >> reporter: there's no allegation of fraud and f.e.m.a. takes full blame. in fact, the agency estimates it has mistakenly paid out $643 million since hurricanes katrina and rita in 2005-- money given to people who may be deserving, but technically were not eligible for all kinds of complex reasons. but f.e.m.a.'s mistakes may have become the victims' problem. under the law, f.e.m.a. must try to recover improper payments, even if it's f.e.m.a.'s fault. the agency is now sifting through 160,000 questionable cases. senator mark pryor wants congress to pass a fix, give f.e.m.a. discretion to waive debts when there's no fraud. >> if f.e.m.a. sees a case like this, where it's all f.e.m.a.'s
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fault, and they should have the discretion to give these folks a break. >> reporter: nobody from f.e.m.a. would agree to an interview, but a spokesman says the agency has slashed its error payment rate from 14.5% after katrina to less than 3% in 2009. >> these are people who don't have millions of dollars in the bank. they're just average people. i'm retired. i'm 68 years old. my husband is 72 years old. we live on a fixed income. and i found this devastating. >> reporter: the holmquists have applied for a hardship waiver to try to get out of owing the money, but they are not optimistic it will be granted. sharyl attkisson, cbs news, washington. >> couric: on to other money matters now, the government reported today that consumer prices rose 0.4% and over the past year prices jumped 3.2%, the biggest yearly increase since 2008. as cynthia bowers reports, fuel and food are driving a burst of inflation. >> reporter: nowhere are rising
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costs hitting americans harder than at the gas pump and the grocery store-- places we spend 25 cents of every dollar we earn. >> it really is a very significant drag on our economy at a very difficult time. >> reporter: over the last year, the cost to fuel our cars has jumped more than 33%, but it's the 3.1% rise in food and drink costs that's hurting consumers the most. that's because, on average, americans spend three times as much for food as they do for gas. >> who wants a juice box? >> reporter: suburban chicago mom julie weinberg now shells out $300 a week to feed her family of four. and she's noticed that although she is spending more, she's getting less. >> so like the juice boxes i'm buying, the packaging changed, the quantity within the package had changed. >> reporter: appearances can be deceiving. consider these three boxes of cereal. they're different flavors, but the sale brand, same size, same price. but look closely and you'll see
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the amount of cereal inside the box varies, from as much as 17 ounces to as little as 13. the yoplait yogurt container is the same size, but look at this- - the bottom has been indented, which means you're getting less yogurt. and that half gallon of ice cream we used to buy is now 3/8 of a gallon. that's a full two cups less. making matters more confusing is that there are few standardized sizes of products any more. oreo cookies now come in more than 20 different sizes, ranging from two ounces to 50. "consumer reports" magazine calls this way of hiding a price hike "masking." >> companies don't fess up and come out and say, "hey everybody, hey america, we're giving you less and we're charging you the same!" >> reporter: experts say the only way to decode the true cost is to look at the unit price. but between juggling work and family, who has time to read the fine print? cynthia bowers, cbs news, chicago. >> couric: the rising cost of health care and lower payroll
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taxes have been a big drain on social security and medicare. in fact, a government report out today says social security will run out of money in 2036, a year earlier than had been estimated. and medicare? its trust fund will be empty by 2024, five years ahead of the last estimate. one republican proposal would change medicare for future generations to a voucher system. in an interview today with harry smith, house speaker john boehner tried to reassure worried seniors. >> the retirees are going to be taken care of. there's no ifs, ands or buts about that. but we all know that if nothing has changed, seniors' benefits will get cut. why? because they're unaffordable. that's why we have to deal with this and we need to deal with it now. >> couric: and you can see more of that interview with speaker boehner this sunday on "face the nation." still ahead here on the "cbs evening news," earning extra
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credit-- what some california schools are doing to avoid the budget ax. but up next, one of the world's top artists is behind bars in china's latest crackdown on dissent. hey, pete. yeah, it's me, big brother. put the remote down and listen. [ male announcer ] this intervention brought to you by niaspan. so you cut back on the cheeseburgers and stopped using your exercise bike as a coat rack. that's it? you're done? i don't think so. you told me your doctor's worried about plaque clogging your arteries -- what did he call it... coronary artery disease. that cholesterol medicine he also wants you on -- niaspan? i looked it up online. hey, pete, you waiting for an engraved invitation? [ male announcer ] if you have high cholesterol and coronary artery disease, and diet and exercise are not enough, niaspan, along with diet and a bile acid-binding resin,
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be heard in places like china. but authorities there have responded by arresting opponents including a world renowned artist, ai weiwei. today the government says he will be punished according the law, though he hasn't been charged with any crime. from beijing, here's celia hatton. >> reporter: protesters around the world are demanding communist authorities release china's most famous living artist, ai weiwei. he disappeared into police custody over a month ago, terrifying his mother. >> ( translated ): save my son, i hear they are treating him cruelly. >> reporter: ai weiwei has a global following. his latest sculptures were unveiled in new york's central park just last week. in china, weiwei was once a government favorite, even helping design the olympic stadium. but after 2008's schezuan earthquake, the artist began a campaign to blame those responsible for the collapse of poorly constructed schools that killed thousands of children.
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his crusade made him an enemy of the state, leading to a brutal police beating in 2009. >> ( translated ): they are animals. >> reporter: ai weiwei's case is high profile, but it's not unusual. unknown numbers of bloggers, activists, defense lawyers and artists are being taken away increasingly often. without any official legal proceedings. foreign journalists also face police hostility. this is the most severe crackdown against any opposition to the ruling communist party since 1989's violent suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations here in tiananmen square. memories of 1989 came flooding back, when the jasmine revolution protests began toppling governments in the middle east. china tightened its grip, even making the word jasmine taboo on chinese streets. >> they want to show people that the one-party state, the communist party system, is there and is permanent and is not to
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be changed. >> reporter: religious dissidents are under fire too. last month, police detained hundreds of christians attending services unapproved by the government, a move that worries underground church pastor xu yonghai. >> ( translated ): we are always under surveillance now. >> reporter: his congregation sings a prayer for courage. in this troubled period, anyone who stands up to the chinese government, whether unknown or well-known, none of them are safe. celia hatton, cbs news, beijing. >> couric: and coming up next, the fight to keep the music alive in california's public schools. ols. while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion.
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>> couric: california is facing a budget shortfall of more than $15 billion, and its options for getting back in the black are far from sunny. today the governor proposed closing 70 state parks and tonight california teachers are protesting across the state to try to stop thousands of layoffs and deep cuts to educational programs. bill whitaker now on what's at stake. >> reporter: the performing arts program at hamilton high in inner city l.a. is one of the best in the state, the jazz band the crown jewel. it's won a wall of awards, was invited to play at this year's monterey jazz festival. teacher james foschia has orchestrated its success for six
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years. >> it's been a very, very good year. >> reporter: and you got a pink slip? >> i did get a pink slip on march 11, four days after winning western states. >> reporter: what happens to that program if he goes? >> unless i can find somebody to replace that person, which is very unlikely, i'm closing it down. >> reporter: with the state slashing almost $2 million from his budget, principal garcia could lose 23 of 140 staff positions. since 2005? >> our dollar cuts have been around 70% in the amount of money i have to spend in the classroom. >> reporter: 70%? >> correct. it's a challenge to serve our students. >> reporter: it's a steady drum beat, even 12 miles up the road in suburban san marino. the schools are rated the best in the state, and residents are paying to keep it that way. faced with drastic state cuts, residents voted twice to raise property taxes-- more than $1,000 a household. they passed bond measures, held fundraisers, bake sales.
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they raised more than $4 million for the schools this year and saved teachers and programs. >> good schools keep property values up, people want to move here. >> we're becoming a semi-private district, 70% funded by public entities and 30% funded by our community. >> reporter: but with the state cutting $10 million from the listrict's budget the last three years, all the private fundraising is barely keeping the schools afloat. >> we want a level of excellence here, and we're willing to sacrifice. but it's getting to the point where it's almost unbearable. >> reporter: some 7,000 teachers and staff got pink slips here in los angeles. teachers gathered here today call that unbearable. katie? >> couric: bill whitaker, thank you. and this political note-- congressman ron paul of texas today declared he's a candidate for the republican presidential nomination, his third run for the white house. he brought supporters in new hampshire his familiar message of limited government. paul, a better fundraiser than vote getter, joins the g.o.p.
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field that now includes tim pawlenty, mitt romney, and newt gingrich. and coming up next, a company that helps unemployed single moms get their mojo back. [ male announcer ] you've worked hard your entire life. paid your dues. raised a family. you've earned a little peace of mind. now, some in congress want to make harmful cuts to medicare and social security. cutting your benefits so washington can pay its bills. aarp believes the country can do better.
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workers. it's a lot higher for single mothers-- more than 14%. enter a company that went into business to give unemployed single moms a job. anthony mason concludes our series, "help wanted: getting america back to work." >> hi. >> reporter: as a 23-year-old single mother in lowell, massachusetts, tameira lanier spent three years without a full-time job. >> it was terrible for me. i had to go into a shelter and everything. >> reporter: then she got hired at mojo. how does it feel to get back in the work force? >> it feels good. >> reporter: tameira, who majored in fashion at a vocational school, is a stitcher now. >> i was kind of nervous because it's been six years since i've been on a sewing machine, but i actually did pretty good. >> reporter: mojo is short for moms and jobs. you specifically built this company to help single mothers? >> yes.
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>> reporter: twin brothers invested money from the sale of their software company to start mojo with their sister cara. >> this is not a charity, it's a business. >> it's a business. >> we're trying to solve a social problem with a for-profit answer. >> reporter: mojo pays its workers more than $10 an hour, provides career training, and health care, and most important for single mothers like tameira, covers the entire cost of child care. >> it's not just about revenues and earnings, it's about what else are you doing for your employees. >> reporter: the company, which launched last year, is already selling blankets to the dave matthews band, fleece jackets to companies like morgan stanley and accenture, and logo wear to colleges. how many people to you have working here now? >> we have 23 employees in total. >> reporter: and cara aley says
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mojo plans to expand quickly to other cities like oakland, detroit and new orleans. the goal here is to make this a significantly bigger company. >> it is, by the end of this year, we expect to have 160 employees. >> reporter: with mojo's help, tameira lanier is not only designing a new life for herself and her two boys, she's now dreaming of designing her own fashions. that's got to feel good. >> it does. i'm so happy, i'm so proud of myself. my mom is proud of me too. it's amazing, i love it. >> reporter: anthony mason, cbs news, lowell, massachusetts. >> couric: and before we leave you, one final note. as some of you may already know, i'm moving on from cbs news. next thursday will be my last broadcast. that night we'll take a look back at some of the amazing stories we've covered over the past five years. i hope you'll join us. i'm katie couric. thanks for watching, have a great weekend. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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you're watching cbs5 eyewitness news in high- definition. "this broadcast realtime captioned by becky lyon." here come the padlocks much the long list of bay area parks that will be closed to save the state a little money. on a brighter note more signs we are putting the recession behind us. the seemingly noneconomic news that helps fill local cas registers. the things you buy to make your homes more fresher. more evidence it might be making you sick. >> i'm dana king. >> i'm allen martin. >> a three alarm fire that firefighters have been battling in san francisco's mission district. this is what the blaze looked like around 4:30 p.m. this afternoon. you can see the flames shooting from the roof of the building. now, at this point crews have


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